Ramadan ban on nightspots

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 14 Jul 2011

ALOR SETAR: Entertainment outlets, including karaoke centres and discotheques, will not be allowed to operate during Ramadan in Kedah.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said live-band performances with singers at bars, hotels, restaurants and eating outlets and areas with easy access by public were also not allowed to open.

He said the regulation under the state Entertainment Enactment 1997 which lists these places excludes cybercafes, bowling and snooker centres.

Azizan also said that all Chinese eateries and outlets that cater to international customers would be allowed to operate as usual.

They include fast-food restaurants such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's and Pizza Hut, he said.

Azizan also said cultural and religious performances would be allowed during Ramadan as long as they do not cause a disturbance to others.

He said these include performances during the Hungry Ghost Festival that may fall during Ramadan.

“This regulation is already in the enactment but due to poor enforcement there were those who did not abide by the regulation,” he said after chairing the state executive council meeting here yesterday.

He said the regulation would be fully enforced this year following complaints by the state Islamic religious council during a meeting with district officers to prevent immoral activities during Ramadan.

He said the Sultan of Kedah Sultan Abdul Muadzam Shah was very particular about Islamic activities and that during Ramadan he visited various mosques to perform tarawih prayers with the Muslim congregation.

A group of entertainment outlet operators had said that they were not satisfied with the late notice made by the Kota Setar district office preventing them from operating during Ramadan.

Azizan said he believed there was confusion over the definition of entertainment outlets as some of cybercafe operators had claimed they could not renew their licences.

“We want district offices to clarify the definition of entertainment outlet' that is allowed to operate to avoid confusion,” he said.

He added that the matter would be solved soon since Ramadan was only two weeks away.

He also said that Chinese associations that planned to conduct performances during the Hungry Ghost Festival needed to apply for a licence from the district office and also a police permit.

Related Story: Ban violates human rights of non-Muslims, says Chua

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